French Apple Tart (Tarte aux Pommes)

My French Apple Tart (Tarte aux Pommes) based on Barefoot Contessa‘s Recipe was very popular among friends today.  I did not make the pastry dough in food processor.  It’s easy enough (in fact I find it easier) to make it by hand with pastry blender and spatula.

คราวที่แล้วลองทำอันเล็กๆ ด้วยแป้งพัฟเพสทรี่ ก็อร่อยมาก แต่ยุ่งยากไปหน่อย คราวนี้ได้สูตรแสนง่ายของ แบร์ฟู้ทคอนเทสซ่า ดูเก๋ ไฮโซ แถมเป็นที่ชื่นชอบของเพื่อนๆ เอาลิงค์ฝากไว้เผื่อใครอยากทำ ตรงนี้ นะคะ 🙂

Ingredients
For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

 For the apples:
4 Granny Smith apples (I use Golden Delicious)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam (I used apple syrup made from apple peel)

2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water

Directions For the pastry,

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl. Stir to combine.

Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. (I did this step with pastry blender)

Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.)

Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine!

When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

When ready to serve, I cut the tart into pieces and served with Vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt (to lessen the guilt ;P); topped with rum-infused apple syrup instead of apricot jam with apple syrup made from apple peel, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water (I think I got this from Alice Waters’ Classic Apple Tart posted by Smitten Kitchen).

To add colors and more layers of tastes, I grated about 1/2 teaspoon zest from these fresh tangerines from my neighbor’s garden.  The citrus aroma and a little bit of bitterness really balances out the sweetness perfectly.

พอทิ้งไว้จนเย็นลงพอสมควรแล้ว — ตอนเสริฟ ตัดเป็นชิ้นสี่เหลี่ยม คู่ไปกับวนิลลาโฟรเซ่นโยเกิร์ต ราดด้วยน้ำเชื่อมแอปเปิ้ลที่เคยมีคนบอกให้เก็บเปลือกแอปเปิ้ลที่ปอกแล้ว ไปต้มกับน้ำตาลจนเป็นน้ำเชื่อม — จริงๆ ตามสูตรเค้าให้ใช้ แยมแอปริคอต แต่ตัวเองไม่ค่อยชอบเลยเปลี่ยน รู้สึกจะได้สูตรนี้มาจากของ อลิส วอร์เตอร์ส เจ้าของร้าน เช ปานิซ (Chez Panisse) ที่เค้ามีชื่อมากๆ ที่เบิร์คลี่นะคะ

สำหรับเปลือกแอปเปิ้ล ถ้าซื้อเค้า แล้วไม่ได้เป็นออร์แกนิค เปลือกมันมีขี้ผึ้งที่เค้าเคลือบไว้ช่วยให้แอปเปิ้ลเก็บได้นานเวลาขนส่ง หรือไม่ก็ยาฆ่าแมลง เวลาจะใช้ต้องล้างด้วยน้ำสบู่ล้างผักแล้วขัดให้ดีๆ นะคะ

น้ำเชื่อมเวลาจะใช้ เอามาอุ่นแล้วใส่รัม (แทนเหล้าหวาน Calvados ตามสูตร) ปล่อยไว้บนเตาไฟอ่อนๆ พอรัมระเหยไป น้ำเชื่อมก็มีความซับซ้อนของกลิ่นรสเพิ่มขึ้น เพิ่มรสชาติได้มาก แล้วก็ขูดเปลือกส้มจีนโรยหน้าไอติมด้วย หอมดี แล้วก็รสขมนิดๆ เข้ากับของหวานๆ ได้ดี๊ดีค่ะ

Frozen Yogurt ที่ซื้อมาคราวนี้เป็นแบบไร้ไขมัน แต่จริงๆไม่อร่อยเท่า ถ้าเป็น Vanilla Bean Ice Cream จะเพอร์เฟคท์มาก แต่เวอร์ชั่นนี้ก็สำนึกผิดน้อยหน่อยนะคะ

Mixed-Berry Mini Galettes

I just found this new way of preparing desserts with berries that has quickly become my favorites.   There are variations of crusts on the internet (like this one I found at Two Peas & Their Pod), but I used “Deluxe Butter Flaky Pastry Dough” for mine.

About Galettes

According to my bible, Joy of Cooking, a galette (French) – or in Italian, a crostata – consists of a flat crust of pastry or bread dough covered with sugar, pastry cream, or a thin layer of fruit.  The famed Galette des Rois, or Twelfth Night cake, is made with puff pastry.  Sometimes it is baked with an elaborately decorated top crust and filled with a rich almond cream.  Most galettes, however, are more simply made and rustic in look.  They are, in effect, dessert pizas.  Since galettes are baked on a flat sheet rather than in a pie or tart mold, they may be made in any shape that appeals to you.  If the filling is juicy, bring the edge of the crust over the filling to catch drips; otherwise, simply double up the crust edge, then crimp or flute if you wish.   Remember that the topping should be spare so as not to overwhelm the crust.

Ingredients:

1 recipe of Deluxe Butter Flaky Pastry Dough (see below)
2 cups mixed berries (I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  I tried kiwi fruit too but it did not bake well.)
2 tablespoons milk (I used 1% milk and it worked well)
1/4 cup white sugar (if you like to leave specs of sugar on the crust, use Turbinado sugar)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
 
– Make the crust f your choice.  For the Deluxe Butter Flaky Pastry Dough, see below.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400°F

Remove one disk of the dough from the refrigerator and place on a well-floured work surface.  Cut the dough into four equal parts. (most recipes said to roll the dough out on a sheet of parchment paper, but I didn’t have it at the time. So I just rolled out the dough on the floured surface and gently transfer it to small sheets of brown paper I cut out of lunch bags.  It worked well.  I’ll try parchment paper next time and will report back).

– Starting at the center of the dough, roll out each piece of dough into a circle, about 5-6 inches.  Place the dough with parchment paper on a baking sheet. Arrange mixed berries in the center of each galette, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the border over the berries, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.

– Lightly brush the dough with milk. (Some like egg brush, but somehow, I don’t like the eggy smell my crust seems to still retain even when the crust is done).

– Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon sugar on the berries.

– Place 2 small pieces of butter on top.

– Bake the galettes until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool on the rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  It is best served the day they are made.

Me, I like to serve it warm.  Pile more fresh berries on top, and lightly glaze them with homemade syrup or jam (In this case, I used apple syrup that I made the other day).  Place a scoop or two of vanilla bean ice cream on the side, and I’m in heaven :).

Deluxe Butter Flaky Pastry Dough 
(Makes about 8 mini galettes)

I like to make mine the old fashion way.  You can also make it in a food processor.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon white sugar or 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold salted butter
1/8 cup solid vegetable shortening
3-4 tablespoon ice water

– Using a rubber spatula, thoroughly mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

– Working quickly to prevent softening, cut the butter into 1/4-inch pieces  Add the butter to the dry ingredients.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, chop the butter into pea-sized pieces.

– With a few quick swipes of the pastry blender, cut the shortening into large chunks and distribute throughout the bowl.  Continue to chop with the pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces.  Do not let the mixture soften and begin to clump; it must remain dry and powdery.

– Drizzle over the flour and fat mixture, the ice water.  Cut with the blade side of the rubber spatula until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls.  Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula.  If the balls of dough stick together, you have added enough water; if they do not, drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of ice water over the top.  Cut in the water, then press with your hands until the dough coheres.  The dough should look rough, not smooth.

–  Divide the dough in half, press each half into a round flat disk, and wrap tightly in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably for several hours, or for up to 2 day before rolling.  The dough can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 6 months; thaw completely before rolling.  (Note: I myself find freshly made dough rolls best after a couple of hours).

Something Extra:
I also found a nice video done by Rachelchew posted by Sarah Fritzler and would like to post it here for more ideas.  Happy baking .